Is this business casual?

My friend Spano came into town last night.  She has a conference in DC this week, but planned accordingly so we could kick it.  I met her on the street corner with a glass of wine and very briefly mourned the absence of a cigarette in my hand.  I’ve noticed that while I have defeated the physical side effects of smoking*, as expected the habitual ones still pop up from time to time.  And if there was one thing Spano and I loved in college, it was a couple bottles of wine from the 7/11 and a pack or two of Parliament Lights. 

Spano being 2 years my senior took me under her wing when I joined the rugby team my freshman year of college.  We spent a lot of time together bellied up to the bar at Kelly’s Pub and the 24 hour Starbucks in Old Town during finals.  She graduated a year ahead of me and was often my go-to for questions as to how I was supposed to survive in the real world. 

When I graduated, I didn’t own a single dressy article of clothing, as I heavily favored the Free People dresses and cowboy boots look.  I was determined that something- anything- I owned could be considered business casual.  We used to play super fun game** loosely titled: Is this outfit business casual?  It started as true curiosity with I was wearing this dress.

Me:  Is this business casual?  Like if I was wearing a cardigan?

Spano:  IT HAS BLUE SPARKLES ON IT!***

Me:  So, you are saying no…

Following graduation, a whirlwind trip though Europe and some quality time on my mom’s couch with a bottle of Bailey’s and a straw, I landed the job that brought me out to DC.  I was destined to pay taxes and dress in the mandatory business casual each morning- and largely had no idea what that meant. 

I did a lot of googling, a lot of polling and a lot of questioning to the Gap sales lady in order to define business casual.  I spent a lot of time in dressing rooms.  Horrible things like khakis and polo shirts were mentioned.  I felt like a little girl dressing up in my mommy’s clothes every time I put on a suit.  I struggled, I had wardrobe malfunctions, I sometimes showed up to work with a white shirt and a purple bra. 

But when I walked downstairs this morning wearing make-up, dressed in a gray wool skirt, tights, black boots and a purple cardigan Spano said, “damn girl, you look good”.

I guess I might have figured it out.  At least for today.

*For the most part- bike accidents aside.

**By we I mean me, and but fun I mean it was annoying to everyone else.

***I totally met Barack Obama in 2007 wearing a black stripped skirt with silver sequins.  For the record. 

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